The fund promotes environmental education, particularly through programs that increase access for children who have a physical and/or mental disability. It also advances medical science through research, particularly for cancer and diabetes. In addition, it increases educational opportunities for international students attending post-secondary institutions, especially by providing academic support. The fund prioritizes support for agencies serving the seven counties of northeast Minnesota.
The following are representative but not exclusive examples of projects:
- Support for a naturalist or other staff member from organizations such as Hartley Nature Center, the Great Lakes Aquarium and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center to work with students with disabilities
- Support for a naturalist or other staff member from environmental organizations to attend a workshop or class that will help that staffer learn how to use sign language or teach the staffer how to physically move disabled children
- Support for transportation, school staff, assistive technology or equipment that would increase access for students with disabilities to environmental programs
- Assistance for books, language translation and other academic resources for foreign students at institutions such as the University of Minnesota Duluth, the College of St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College, Minnesota North College-Vermilion and Minnesota North College-Hibbing
- Medical research at local facilities such as Essentia Health in Duluth, St. Luke’s, the University of Minnesota Duluth or the College of St. Scholastica
- Support for local chapters of disease-specific nonprofit organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, for projects that help physically or mentally disabled children or those with illnesses such as cancer or diabetes attend camp or learn about the environment
To be eligible to apply for funding, an organization must:
- Be classified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or classified as an organization under Section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code or have a fiscal sponsor classified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or an organization under Section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code
- Be located in or provide service to residents within: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis Counties in northeast Minnesota; or the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa/Atisokanigamig, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa/Nah-Gah-Chi-Wa-Nong, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa/Gichi Onigaming, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe or the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
Grants generally range from $500 to $3,000.
- Application available March 1-April 3, 2023 (due by 5 p.m.)
- Project begin date: July 1 or later.
- If awarded, funds would be available in July. Notifications will be emailed at the end of June.